Filipinos urged to explain Marian devotion Biblically

Argentinian missionary says misunderstanding remains the basic issue between Catholics and Protestants
Filipinos urged to explain Marian devotion Biblically

Catholics in the Philippines have been encouraged to use the Bible to explain Marian devotion. (Photo: YouTube)

The Catholic key to dialogue with Protestants about the Blessed Virgin is to explain Marian devotion Biblically, says an Argentinian missionary who has been serving in the Philippines for two decades.

Father Luciano Felloni maintains that Catholics need to take the Bible as the common ground between them and Protestants. The Marian devotion needs to be explained Biblically, he said.

"You will listen to me if my answer is Biblical. We have no problem with that because our faith is Biblical," explained the parish priest assigned to the Diocese of Novaliches.

The missionary priest was speaking to ucanews on the sidelines of a recollection for officials and staff at the Philippine House of Representatives on Nov. 20.

Philippine government data shows that Christians form 90 percent of some 100 million people in the country, with 80 percent Catholics and 10 percent Protestants.

According to Father Felloni, the Catholic-Protestant conflict over the Blessed Virgin stems from misunderstanding.

"Protestants are so upset that we worship images, but we do not. The problem is we don't understand each other ... A lot of our differences are reconcilable, if only we listen to each other," explained Father Felloni.

He said Catholics and Protestants could "perfectly talk about Mama Mary" if they listen to each other.

Father Felloni had given a two-hour recollection on ecumenism to some 40 staff and officials of Congress. He exhorted them to preserve peaceful relations with the Protestant brethren.

"If you need to offend someone to defend your faith, then your faith is wrong," said Father Felloni.

The Church in the Philippines has designated 2020 as the Year of Ecumenism. It is part of a nine-year celebration leading up to the fifth centenary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021.

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